Giant Panda Twins: China Celebrates Birth Of Adorable Baby Pandas At Research Center [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on June 24, 2013 10:48 AM EDT

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A researcher holds a newborn giant panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan province June 23, 2013. Giant panda Hai Zi gave birth to the world's first twin pandas this year in the reserve on Saturday. (Photo: Reuters)
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Pictured is a pair of twin pandas born in Sept. 2010 are presented to the media at the Madrid Zoo & Aquarium in Spain a month later. The twin pandas were conceived through artificial insemination in a joint effort by Spain's National Research council and scientists from China. Weighing at about 1 kilo each, the cubs were the first of their species to be born in Spain since 1982 and only the third litter to be born in Europe. (Photo: Reuters)

Giant panda twins were born in a research center in China on Saturday, June 22. The cubs were born 10 minutes apart and weighed less than 3 ounces each, less than what a typical iPhone 4 weighs. International Business Times notes that the giant panda twins are the first pair of the endangered species born in the world in 2013.

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The folks at China's Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, located on a 494,000-acre reserve in China's Sichuan province, celebrated the birth of giant panda mother Haizi's giant panda twins. According to staff, Haizi became pregnant after mating in March.

AP reports female giant pandas are fertile only two to three days a year. This, in large part, is why the species has difficulty breeding and sustaining a viable population. And with only 1,600 individual pandas left in the wild and 300 living in captivity, mostly in China's breeding programs, any giant panda birth, especially giant panda twins, is a victory for the species.

According to National Geographic, giant pandas reach 4 to 5 feet in length and live about 20 years. Known for being a voracious eater, the giant panda consumes roughly 28 pounds of bamboo a day and eats for a full 12 hours in every 24-hour period (it also relieves itself dozens of times a day). Giant pandas are solitary animals. Males have a heightened sense of smell that they use to avoid other male pandas as well as to seek out females for mating in the springtime.

Baby giant pandas are blind and weigh around 5 ounces. They are born white and cannot crawl for the first three months of life.

According to the African Conservancy, a nonprofit organization based in Florida that provides environment and wildlife educations as well as funding for species protection and rehabilitation, about 27,000 species worldwide go extinct every year. Eighty percent of species loss is caused by human habitat destruction. At this rate, about 20 percent of the world's 7 to 15 million species could be gone within 30 years. This represents a rate of extinction unprecedented since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

The giant panda has come to stand for the global conservation effort. It's even the logo for the World Wide Fund for Nature, an international conservation organization.

Here's video of the giant panda twins birth:

Read more from iScience Times:

Rare Giraffe Born: Endangered Rothschild Giraffe Gives Birth; Watch Calf Stand For First Time [VIDEO]

Rare Tiger Born: Endangered Sumatran Tiger Leanne Gives Birth To Cub At San Francisco Zoo

Koala Chlamydia: Is The Koala Endangered Because Of The STD?

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